The MacCormick & Clayton Family

modified 9 April 2020
If you can fill any gaps please email me.
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Research commissioned by G. B. MacCormick provided  information about the early MacCormick family.

Recollections and research have been provided by Mary (Scholley) Halliday, Susan (MacCormick) Dunn & Jim MacCormick.
As usual detail of later generations is not included for privacy reasons.

Ancestors of Minnie (MacCormick) Scholley
MacCormick Pedigree

The MacCormick Family Of Scotland.
Jasper McCormick, a fish curer, married Janet Tennent in Beith, Ayr, Scotland in 1809. Nothing is known about previous generations.

A son, Hugh MacCormick was born in Kilbirnie in 1916. There must be other family but we have no record. Hugh went on to become a Flax and Hemp Merchant, marring Janet Lindsay in Glasgow in 1843. The Post Office directories show the family at many addresses in the Glasgow area.

David MacCormick was born at 37 St. Andrew Street, Glasgow in 1865. He was the youngest of nine children. He was married to Mary Anne Clayton by the Rev John Orr of Tron Parish, Glasgow in 1889.  We know little more of his life in Scotland or of the other family members. Hugh died in 1898 and David, and family, soon were to emigrate to Australia.

The Clayton Family
William Nassau (Nassan?) Clayton was born in about 1828 in Ireland (from his death certificate) or Scotland (from family recollections), the son of John Clayton, a soldier. William Clayton followed his father into the military rising to the rank of Sergeant Major. He was posted at various times to South Africa,  China and Ireland. Several generations hence his granddaughter would marry the grandson of Captain Henry Miller (of the 40th Regiment).

The Telegraph (Brisbane 22 Jan 1910)

 The late Sergeant-major William Nassau Clayton, whose death occurred at , his
residence,  Toowong, on 12th instant, had an interesting meritorious record of
 On entering the army on 12th February, 1846, Sergeant-major Clayton

joined the 59th Regiment, and attained the rank of sergeant-major 16 years
later.  He received the silver medal with a gratuity of 15 pounds  on 24 May 1864
at the hands of Lieutenant-general Sir John Penefather, commanding Aldershot division.
He served with his regiment in China for 9 years, and in South Africa
for 2 1/2 years. Discharged on 26th August, 1867, he next day joined the
5th Battalion Leinster Regiment,- and was discharged in October of the following year.
He then joined the 105th L.R.V. Glasgow Highlanders, on 1st November, 1868, and was
discharged there from on 27th November, 1888. He received the medal for meritorious
distinguished service on 5th October, 1887,with an annuity of 10.
His total service amounted to 42 years 301 days.
On retiring from the army, he received permission to retain his rank/and to wear
the uniform of his corps.
Sergeant-major Clayton was a familiar figure at Toowong, where he spent his later years
in quiet retirement. He was one of the founders of the Indooroopilly cadets, from which corps,
in common with other regiments with which he was connected, he received a testimonial
and souvenir.

He was a Freemason, and at one time held the position of past master in the. Star Lodge, Glasgow /Scotland).

He leaves a widow, one son (in the Indian army),  and five daughters, three of whom are married.

William married Minnie Craddock in Galway, Ireland in about 1860. She is identified as being born in Ireland however Craddock is a Welsh name. As an army wife she followed William around the empire with the children being born in various countries. Mary Anne and Georgina (Dolly) were born in Ireland, Fanny in South Africa.

DEATH OF MRS. CLAYTON. Brisbane paper 3 May 1916

Tho late Mrs. William Nassau Clayton, who died at her late residence, Aberfeldy,
Shcrwood  road, Toowong, on Good Friday, had reached tho advanced  of 81 years.
She was a very old and re
spected resident of Brisbane, and was
loved for her generous and kindly disposition. Many beautiful wreaths and
letters of condolence were sent by the deceased lady's friends. Deep sympathy
has been expressed with her daughters in their loss. Miss F. Clayton was in
Sydney on a holiday visit, when she was recalled by the sudden bereavement.

It seems William came to Queensland in the late 1800s. The Clayton family settled in Toowong, now a suburb of Brisbane. Their house Aberfeldie  stood on the corner of Sherwood Road and Clayton Lane

Emily, the eldest daughter is said to have stayed in the UK (?) while Mary Anne Clayton married in Scotland some eight years after William first(?) arrived in Queensland.

Biographical records from Queensland mention that Fanny Clayton took and active interest in politics and women's organizations and was the owner and lady editor of  Figaro. She was an executive member of the Victoria League, member of the Red Cross Society and the Comforts Fund.

The accidental death of son William Francis Nassau Clayton, a school teacher is mentioned in the Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, Saturday 4 Jan 1890. He met his death on 2nd Jan 1890 in a boating accident off Port Keppel Island when his 16 foot boat foundered in a violent storm. He and his companion, the Headmaster of his school were swimming for shore when he was apparently taken by a shark.

There are inconsistencies in dates, ages and places of birth. Maybe the Clayton family moved back and forth between Australia and Great Britain several times because of William's army postings.

The MacCormick Family of Australia
In about 1900 David MacCormick, Mary Anne (Clayton) and the five children came to Brisbane Australia. The first settled in Toowong, Brisbane, next door to Mary Anne's parents who had settled there some years earlier.

 Two years later David, Mary Anne and family moved  on to NSW. They seem to have lived in Goulburn and Uralla among other places. Then the family moved to Sydney where David MacCormick set up as an estate agent working out of a city address and was identified in the 1920's with the subdivision of land in the Cronulla area.

David was somewhat an entrepreneur .  They owned at the time a magnificent property, "Garden Reach" at Hunters Hill. The fortune of the MacCormick's suffered along with the rest of the world in the great depression of the 1930's

Minnie Craddock MacCormick, was born in Glasgow and came to Australia with her family at the age of about seven. She trained as a nurse and midwife. She worked in a Brisbane hospital and the Scottish hospital in Sydney. She was involved in the delivery of more than one hundred babies. The world-wide influenza epidemic of 1918-19 killed more than 10,000 Australians. In Sydney alone almost 400,000 were infected. Minne was to nurse hundreds at this time.

She married Charles Miller Scholley a returned servicemen and Victorian. They settled in Neutral Bay and raised their children. In later years she lived in Rose Bay and then in St Ives with the family of her daughter Mary. She is remembered by the family as a kind caring loving person.

The grandchildren were taught to recite the family names, or nicknames, "Pa, Ma, Willy, Lindsay, Minnie, Dolly, Nettie, Alan, Lily, Gordon, Bruce". The faster the better. Other family member turned the names into a lullaby.

David MacCormick and Mary Anne Clayton

The MacCormick Family about 1920

Pa, Ma, Willy, Lindsay, Minnie, Dolly, Nettie, Alan, Lily, Gordon, Bruce

Minnie MacCormick

Family gathering circa 1964
MacCormick gathering circa 1963

Extracts from interesting Emails

Dear Peter,
I have once again got around to looking at the MacCormick connection of the Eastaway clan and got hold of Lillian Clayton MacCormick's birth certificate.  I thought you might like the relevant info for your files.  Born 29 Mar 1904 at Bradley St, Goulburn NSW.  David MacCormick gives his age as 38, born in Glasgow, Scotland and employed as "Inspector of Life Insurance".  Gives marriage date as 17 January 1899 at Glasgow.  Mary Ann gives her age as 35 and her place of birth as Mohir, Ballinasloe, Ireland.  David was the informant for the birth.
I also have just received a copy of a clipping from "The Mosman Daily" of 17 March 1981 in which they interviewed Lil about the QEII and the Ophir.  The article says that the large house at Hunters Hill owned by the MacCormicks was called Garden Reach and had recently been sold to entrepreneur Michael Edgley.  The article includes photos of the Ophir in 1901 steaming up Sydney Harbour with the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall on board.  I am more than happy to scan this article and send it down to you.
Lisa Eastaway